Last week, the State of Minnesota announced that a highway near Minneapolis would be named after Prince. Governor Tim Walz said, “It’s only fitting that we honor this icon in the community he called home.” The road signs will be purple, of course.
What a fantastic idea. It led us to investigate what other roads around the world have been named in honour of musicians. For example, you can visit Tina Turner Highway in Nutbush, Tennessee, and Willie Nelson Boulevard in Austin, Texas. A street in Bellingham, Washington, was renamed Jimi Hendrix Way after the iconic Seattle-born guitarist. And of course, streets all over Europe and around the world have been named in honour of Beethoven, Mozart, and other composers. Here are some of our favourite examples of streets named after musical stars.
Frank-Zappa-Straße in Berlin is home to a huge studio complex that serves as a practice space for bands and musical ensembles.
In 2009, David Grohl Alley in Warren, Ohio, was named in honour of the Foo Fighters’ frontman and founder. He showed up to the official opening and played a song. In 2012, a pair of giant drumsticks were added as a public art piece on display in the alley. The massive drumsticks weigh 900 lb., each made from a single log.
In New York City, Joey Ramone Place is a tribute to the lead singer of The Ramones, on the block where he once lived. It has the distinction of being NYC’s most stolen street sign.
You can visit Sam Cooke Way in Chicago, and Bob Dylan Way in Duluth.
Closer to home, the Manitoba government took a section of a provincial highway and named it Tom Cochrane’s Life Is A Highway. It leads to Cochrane’s hometown of Lynn Lake.
And of course, right here in Alberta, we have Tommy Banks Way. This street in the Old Strathcona neighbourhood of Edmonton is the address of The Yardbird Suite, a fantastic jazz venue that has seen many great performances and nurtured many emerging musicians.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about this, and we’d love to know which famous musical streets we haven’t mentioned here. Tune in to Alberta Morning on Wednesday, May 17 for music from the streets, the roads, and the alleys.